Virginia Tech Rolls the Dice: Seth Greenberg FiredPosted by mpatton on April 23rd, 2012
The Washington Post‘s Hokies Journal tweeted on Monday:”Two sources have confirmed that Seth Greenberg has been fired as Virginia Tech men’s basketball coach. Got the news 2 hours ago.” The news was confirmed by an online presser held by the athletic department at 4 PM. Based on the size and prominence of the story on the athletic department website, Jim Weaver isn’t having any second thoughts either. But he probably should.
Virginia Tech firing Seth Greenberg is a stupid idea — especially considered in light of the late April timing of Greenberg’s dismissal. Unless the Hokies have a candidate lined up for the job, they’re very likely to get stuck with a new hire worse than Greenberg. I understand the frustration of constantly sitting on the NCAA Tournament bubble; I understand no fan base wants to be told “you should be happy with mediocrity” (see: Herb Sendek); and I understand getting better is about taking chances from time to time. But now was not the right time for two major reasons.
- Greenberg significantly improved Virginia Tech during his nine-year tenure. Since taking over the helm in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech earned 20-win seasons in four of its last six seasons. Before Greenberg showed up for the 2003-04 season, the Hokies had owned one winning record since Bill Foster left in 1997. The nine years before Greenberg showed up, the Hokies were 132-133 (0.498); he boasted a 167-117 record (0.588) during his tenure.
- It’s April 23. Nearly all good coaches looking for jobs already have them, and almost all of the attractive candidates have re-upped with their old schools. Signing period is almost over. Now is not a good time to find a basketball coach.
There’s still a chance this could work out, but without any high-level assistants available to promote, it’s not going to be easy. The Hokies’ associate head coach, James Johnson, left for Clemson last week. I’m not sure who Virginia Tech will hire, but I’ll be surprised if he’s as good a coach as Seth Greenberg.